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College Access and Career Readiness Services

College Access and Career Readiness Services

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coaching | counseling | support

Through a variety of service delivery options and programs, Communities In Schools provides the necessary coaching, counseling and support to high school students and their parents/legal guardians so that they are knowledgeable, prepared and better equipped to chart a course for post-secondary education, vocational training, and/or a military or other career.

College access and career readiness programming exposes students, and their parents where/when applicable, to study skills instruction, college campus tours, financial aid and scholarship information, SAT/ACT entrance exam preparation, the college application process, job shadowing and internship opportunities, career fairs, community service/service learning opportunities and much more.


In 1996, after more than a decade of helping kids stay in school in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, CIS understood that high school graduates need post-secondary education or other skills-based training to compete for jobs in today’s workforce. In response to this need, John Austin “Jack” Tate, Jr., one of the original founders of CIS in Charlotte, worked to raise money for college scholarships and to mobilize other community resources. CIS partnered with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Central Piedmont Community College, and the Foundation for the Carolinas to develop additional programming as a new “college access” component of the services offered by Communities In Schools.

Today, CIS college access and career readiness services offer a wide array of benefits to students who are enrolled in CIS at specific Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schools, and their parents.  In addition, CIS offers other ways for more students in our community, including those who are not currently enrolled in CIS programming, to benefit from these college access and career planning services.


Talent Search

Talent Search is a federally funded TRiO program administered by Communities In Schools through the U.S. Department of Education. The primary goal of Talent Search is to assist participants in the successful completion of high school and to enroll in post-secondary education programs. Talent Search Counselors work with a total of 600 high school students at several schools in Charlotte.  Two-thirds of the students must be low income, the first in their family to attend college, and exhibit the desire and potential to successfully pursue post-secondary education.  

Participants prepare for post-secondary education through workshops and events that focus on career exploration, college preparation, and social and cultural development. Activities include college campus tours, SAT/ACT preparation, career exploration, and cultural enrichment. Additionally, assistance is provided to students to research and select colleges, complete college admissions applications and financial aid forms, as well as scholarship applications. Counselors work with students assisting them with the transition from high school to college, through their first semester in college.  

To learn more about the Talent Search program, where services are offered, and enrollment criteria, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of the TRiO/Talent Search program.

Safe Journey and the Adolescent Parenting Program (APP)

Additional college access and career readiness programming is available for teen mothers who are enrolled in the CIS Safe Journey and the Adolescent Parenting Program (APP). To learn more about these services, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Safe Journey/APP.

ThinkCOLLEGE® and other Scholarship Opportunities

Students enrolled in a CIS-sponsored program are invited to apply for scholarships made available by several generous supporters, including the ThinkCOLLEGE® fund, the Patricia Fields Scholarship Fund sponsored by Myers Park Presbyterian Church, and a number of other scholarship funds. Recipients are chosen based on motivation, financial need, and academic achievement.

Summer Bridge Program

Communities In Schools in partnership with Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) offers a six-week program in which students are enrolled in classes based upon their performance on a placement test given at CPCC. The purpose of the Summer Bridge Program at CPCC is to give students an opportunity to successfully transition from high school to college in a closed, structured, and supervised environment. The goal of this program is to make students more aware of what is expected of them in college and what will be expected of them in the real world.

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Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. | 601 E. 5th Street, Suite 300, Charlotte NC 28202 | 704.335.0601

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